AbstractPurpose of this work was to study the effectof laser denim wash process onto abrasion of seamed denim.

  Experimental used a number of three differentweight 100% cotton fabrics,all are indigo dyed, fabricswerefaded usingindustrial CO2 laser beam onto seamed areas.  Seams were completed on weft direction for eachtested denim fabric. The three seamed denim fabrics, unwashed and laser faded,were tested using Rubtester and abraded denim surface was scanned.  Moreover, scanning Electronic Microscopy SEMfor the three fabrics was acquired to explore the difference in surfacemorphology, of the laser fading onto different denim fabrics’ weight.Color hue and?E were detected showing the change in color, throughcomparingunwashed to CO2laser faded fabrics.In between all tested denim fabrics, resultant datapresentedthe light weight plain weaved denim fabric to be severely damaged bythe fading effect of laser, in terms of abrasion.  For industrial use it is advised to use laserfading onto heavy weight twill denim garments, and utilize the superimposedseaminstead of topstitched lap-felled seam for anaesthetic durable pieceof laserfaded garment.  KeywordsLaser types, Seam durability, Denim SEM, ColorHueIntroductionDurability of denim garments is expected to behigher, by consumers, than any other clothing item.

   Seam strength is one aspect can be used intoidentifying garment’s durability.  Seamstrength is determined through the breaking strength and elongation length ofboth a woven fabric and its sewn line. Failure at a seam makes a garment unusable even though the fabric may bein good condition.  There are a number ofpossible causes of seam failure; first, the sewing thread wears out before thefabric does, second, the yarns making up the fabric are broken by the needleduring sewing process, or third, seam slippage occurs (Saville BP 2004).  Abrasion is another aspect predicts thelasting period of time a garment can endure. Fabric quality alone does not fulfil all the criteria for production ofhigh qualitygarments (Bahere et al.

1997;Dureja 1992).Sewn seam is the primarily used principal intoassembling a three dimensional garment, by joining each two pieces or edges ofthe same piece together.  Sewing isdefined as a two or more pieces of fabric are joined using sewing machines,sewing threads and various types of stitching (Eberle H et al. 2002).

   The simplest seam type of class 1 is formedby superimposing the edge of one piece of material on another; an example ofthis is the French seam which is completed in two stages.  Class 2 of lapped seams is common on jeans;this provides a very strong seam in garments that will take a lot of wear, thoughthere is a possibility that the thread on the surface may suffer abrasion inareas such as inside leg seams (Tyler D. 2005; Carr and Latham 1988).McLoughlinand Hayes 2013 mentioned that when joining materials aesthetic appeal, strengthand durability are some factors of others should be considered.  Seams should possess durability as much asthe fabric assembled, there are known defects such as seam slippage and seampucker mainly shown onto light weight fabrics, not predicted to appear ontodenim garments.  Even though denim washprocess can degrade seamed areas due to the stresses caused by fading chemicalsor mechanical behaviour. Denimwash process can be identified as the worn off look of the indigo dyed twilltextile material.  Traditionally is knownas stone and super stone wash; where pumice stones are used in washing machineswith the intended denim garment, achieving the traditional denim washed lookafter several hours.

  Due to the highwater and time consumption for those washing methods, new technologies havebeen applied.  Laser is one of thosetechnologies with no water wastage.Laser fading denim is important as it is not awet process; precisely controlled faded patterns can be obtained.  Removal of indigo color by laser beam fromdenim garments has some recommended waves, ND: YAG laser with wave length1064nm, or double ND: YAG 532nm.  Alsothe clean process of laser beam generated from CO2 at wave length10600nm (10.6µm).  Excimer laser can beused for denim fading utilizing wave length in between 196nm to 235nm (Lockmanand Clyson 1996).A research presented by Dascalu et al.

2000 compared betweenthe ND: YAG laser and CO2 on fading denim; different pulseparameters were applied, conclusion was made that both CO2and ND:YAGcaused fading; CO2 affected the textile fibers negatively in termsof strength, due to the heat and evaporation phenomena.  Laser treatments on textile materials aregrowing, a recent study by Jiang et al. 2015 the researchers applied anadhesive to textile fabric, followed by that sticking foil and laser CO2was applied to give fashionable shades.  Ahigher cost might be a result of denim fading process using laser.A relatively big number of denim fabrics weretested for laundry effect on pilling and abrasion by Card et al. 2006, denimsamples were pre-washed, stone washed, andcellulase enzyme washed.

  Edge abrasion was evaluated atthe bottom cuffand side seam areas of each sample and rated on scale of four or nodamage toone or major damage. The samples were examined using either the humaneye or astereomicroscope.In conclusion,enzyme treated garments experienced more edgeabrasion than thepre-washed jeans, but less abrasion than the stone washedjeans after repeatedhome laundering.Even though, denim wash using various methods,chemically or mechanically have been used. Durability utilising abrasion of laser faded denim various seams was notinvestigated before.

ExperimentalThree different weights 100% cotton denimfabrics specified in Table1 were supplied by the Concrete company forChildren’s wear of Egypt, either unwashed and CO2 laser faded fabricare represented.  Abrading surface ofsilicone paper P1500 was used on the machine, the durability of intended seameddenim fabricswere investigated using abrasion for a constant of 35 rubs of theRub-tester BS 5690.  Color hue K/S, whichshows deepness in color, has been examined for all laser treated samples, ? Ewas calculated in reference to the control untreated denim sample, using theOptimatch 3100, ISO105-Jo1:1989.  SEMusing Quanta FEG 250 was done investigating denim surface change due to CO2laser fading.   Table1: specification of tested denim fabrics   Weight g/m2 Thickness mm construction  “FH” 376 0.730 Twill weave  “FM” 296 0.570 Twill weave  “FL” 155 0.

335 Plain weave Note: FH Heavy weight fabric, FM is for mediumweight fabric, while FL represents light weight fabricLaser fading has been done using scan modewith 500mm/sec speed and interval of 0.1mm, utilizing maximum power 13%. Thiswas stable for all tested denim fabrics of this study.

Two types of seams were assembled, lap-felledseam with a double needle topstitch and superimposed seam resembling both innerand outer side seams respectively, with stitch density of 3.5stitches/cm,5stitch overlock was used, thread count 40/3 for both seams, while an extrastitch line lock stitch using thread count 20/2, all threads used were 100%polyester.Results and DiscussionAbrasion TestTable3 shows the different photos of testeddenim fabrics, before and after abrasion for both unwashed and laser fadedeffects.  Images show the FL light weightdenim fabric to be severely damaged at seamed areas, causing any constructedgarment from such a fabric to a failure in quality requirements; either interms of durability or aesthetic appeal. This was the case for both sewn types of seams in table 2 below.  Seams must withstand loads during wearing andprevent seam breakage or visible damage to the fabric in the seam region(Mukhopadhyay and Midha 2013).

  Form thiscontext the other two tested fabrics,heavy and medium weight denim, are havingproblems in terms of durability when assembled using the lap-felled seam; wherethe top stitched lines have been abraded leaving the garment as if worn out.On the other hand, for superimposed seams ofthe heavy weight and medium denim fabrics, showed a better aesthetic appealwhere fading took place but worn out with slippage effect was not present.  This confirms the resultant data of thisresearch, superimposed seam is a better resolution when garment is laser faded,either heavy or medium weight.  Eventhough, it was mentioned by Ondogan et al. 2005 it would be possible totransfer certain designs onto the surface of textile material by changing thedye molecules in the fabric and creating alterations in its color quality bydirecting the laser to the material at reduced intensity; light weight denimplain weave should not be laser faded at seam areas, as shown in thisstudy.  Any decrease in tensile strengthvalues indicates damage in fabric structure, laser fading process cause adecrease in tensile strength values. However, the most significant decrease is occurred after 250?s pulsetimes.  Color Hue TestThecolor measurements were carried out between 400-700 nm wavelength and thevalues were taken from the wavelength where reflection values weresmallest.

  The K/S values of the fadedsamples were calculated using the following formula; K/S = (1-R)2 /(2*R), where R: Reflection value in maximum absorption wavelength, K:Absorption coefficient and S: Scattering coefficient (Özguney et al.2009).  The resultant data obtained fromthis study is shown in Table2.  Lightweight fabric has the highest change in color after laser fading, this is shownas from the big ? E value compared to the other heavy and medium weight denimlaser faded ones.  The color change (?E*)values of the faded samples were calculated by using the following formula ?E*= (?L*)2+(?a*)2+(?b*)21/2 .

  FL FH FM ? E 10.49 5.72 8.51   Before After Before After Before After l 30.

42 40.43 23.87 29.36 22.

30 30.66 a 1.08 -0.65 1.65 0.55 1.

90 0.69 b -3.78 -6.44 -1.33 -2.

49 -2.66 -3.68 K/S 5.942 2.67 10.84 6.

67 11.74 5.8395 Table2: Color Hue and ? E of the three tested denim fabrics before and after laserfading processWhere a:Red (+) – Green (-), b: Yellow (+) – Blue (-), L: White (+) – Black (-).    Table 3: Surface Morphology of tested denimfabrics   Lap-felled seam for inner denim pants side seam   Unwashed Before abrasion Abraded  CO2 Laser Faded before abrasion CO2 Laser faded abraded FH FM FL   Superimposed seam for outer denim pants side seam   Unwashed Before abrasion Abraded  CO2 Laser Faded before abrasion CO2 Laser faded abraded FH FM FL   Asa general rule, if there is a total color difference of ?E equal to 0.2 betweentwo samples, these samples can be considered visually different (Mercer H2014).

  From table 5 above the “l” valueshows all faded denim fabrics whiter in shade than before CO2 lasertreatment, with highest white effect for the light weight fabric FL.  The “a” value indicates all denim fabricswith reddish shade prior to laser fading, this was changed to green shade forthe light weight FL denim after CO2 laser treatment, in general alltested denim fabrics showed less red effect after being laser faded.  The “b” appears to show all examined denimfabrics with blue shade; again for the light weight FL shade became away foryellow, as well as the other two heavy FH and medium FM weight CO2faded denim fabrics.  Lower value of ?Eis shown for the heavy weight FH denim fabric, then medium weight appeared toget higher differences in shade when CO2 laser faded, finally thelight weight FL is faded intensely when using the CO2 laser fadingtechnique.

 Scanning Electronic Microscopy SEM SEM before and After CO2 LaserFading of Different denim weights are shown in table below. Morphology of denim100% cotton yarns has been studied giving the following scans. Both 150X and2000X times magnification were observed. Table 4: SEM of denim fabrics before and afterCO2 laser fading.

     CO2 Laser Faded Denim 150X CO2 Laser Faded Denim 2000X FL FM FH Note: FH refers to heavy weight fabric, FM denotesto medium weight fabric while FL is the light weight fabric.Thelaser action on the colored denim fibers is mainly carried out with the indigocolor, by thermal effect (Özguney et al. 2009). This was the reason of the SEM shown for the three tested laser fadeddenim fabrics; the thermal effect of CO2 laser invisible beamattacked the synthetic indigo dye, causing a molten polymer effect shown ontothe burnt cotton dyed warp yarns, this was in line with a former work by GabrB. 2016; onto that earlier investigation not only the SEM presented burnteffect but also air permeability declined for faded 100% cotton indigo dyeddenim fabric.

  Photos above show theeffect of laser beam burning effect is minor in case of the heavy weight denimfabric FH, and a sort of a further scattered burning effect at the FM mediumweight fabric, while almost the entire surface of light weight fabric was burntFL.  ConclusionInconclusion, the lap-felled seam is giving a worse effect for the abraded denimgarment, when compared to superimposed seamed lines; not only the indigo dye isfaded but also the topstitched sewing threads are worn off, degrading theentire garment.  The light weight plainweaved denim illustrated damage when laser faded, when time passes on thegarment would ruined at seamed areas, giving a low quality piece of garment.Onthe other hand, in terms of change in color ?E showed light weight denim fabricwith higher fading effect, which is consistent with the abrasion results andSEM where the damage occurred due to intense fading.  The findings illustrate the advantage of usingCO2 laser fading technique upon heavy weight to medium denimfabrics, and the use of superimposed seams to eliminate any damage may becaused during the laser processing or while in use by denim garment consumer.

AcknowledgementTheauthors would like to thank, Eng. Moustafa Mahmoud Salman and Eng. Ahmed Faroukmanagers at Concrete for ready-made garments of Egypt, for supplying materialsand assembled specimens used in this study.Correspondingauthor: [email protected],B.K., Chand, S., Singh, T.

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